Phone-for-cash machines could attract criminals, warn police

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VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - More than 600 ecoATMs have popped up all over the country, including one of the latest devices at the Volusia Mall in Daytona Beach.

The ATM-like machine allows you to turn in your old cellphone for cash but Daytona Beach police warn those devices are attracting criminals.

"The concerns we have with the ecoATMs is there's no face-to-face time with a real person," Sgt. Mike Griffin of the Daytona Beach Police Department said.

Police said there's potential for stolen cellphones to end up in those ATM-like machines.

"The potential is there, yes. It can be a concern because again the ease of getting rid of these objects," Griffin said.

Cellphone thefts are already on the rise, police said.

Eyewitness News uncovered there have been almost 50 robberies just in the city of Daytona Beach involving criminals stealing phones, even using guns to get them, in the past six months.

Shoppers said they have doubts about the machines.

"These phones they retail for $500 and I'm sure anybody could just come up and snatch them away from you," shopper Kimberly Clark said.